[Bf-committers] GPL or (c) infringement?

Matt Ebb matt at mke3.net
Thu Mar 10 11:03:29 CET 2005

On 10 Mar 2005, at 8:50 PM, Ton Roosendaal wrote:

> Apart from infringing copyright of used images, and false claims 
> (these images have been made by...), does GPL allow you to fully 
> rebrand and repackage a product without crediting the origins?

As far as I know, yes - as long as the origins are credited within the 
software. It happens with forks, like Gimp -> Cinepaint, and also Linux 
distributors do lots of rebranding of their desktop environments. As 
long as they comply with the GPL (providing source, etc) they're ok.


Though section 2 of the GPL does say:
a) You must cause the modified files to carry prominent notices
     stating that you changed the files and the date of any change.

c) If the modified program normally reads commands interactively
     when run, you must cause it, when started running for such
     interactive use in the most ordinary way, to print or display an
     announcement including an appropriate copyright notice and a
     notice that there is no warranty (or else, saying that you provide
     a warranty) and that users may redistribute the program under
     these conditions, and telling the user how to view a copy of this
     License.  (Exception: if the Program itself is interactive but
     does not normally print such an announcement, your work based on
     the Program is not required to print an announcement.)

So we'd need to see exactly what form Blender is in on the CD, and what 
(if any) modifications have been made.

>  And if so, then how do copyright laws protect against such spoofs?

It doesn't - those rights are given away with the GPL (right to modify, 
etc.). If he were using the Blender name, then there's be a case under 
trademark law - depends if he's gone and changed the splash screen, 

At least that's my interpretation of it.

I've had luck getting things like this taken down from eBay that have 
used my copyrighted images in the item description, I guess that's the 
easiest way to attack things like this.

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